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Dishonest advertising [Oct. 26th, 2008|08:07 pm]
Daveosaurus
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[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |crankycranky]

Before I go any further, a reassurance to local readers: No, I'm not even considering Xtra. I've just seen their latest advertisement one (or more) too many times, asked a few quick questions and worked out that it's basically totally dishonest.

The Product: They're advertising a Super Special of 10 GB "broadband" internet per month. If it was from any provider other than Xtra or Vodaphone, it might even have been a reasonable deal. (Xtra is infamous for so-called "broadband" that's barely faster than my dial-up used to be before IHUG slowed down back when IINet owned it; and Vodaphone are so incompetent that they thought that buying IHUG of IINet would get them into the internet market without having to do any more work.)

The Advertisement: Some indeterminately aged youngster (maybe about 14 years old) is standing chest deep in a room filled with jellybeans. These jellybeans symbolise 10 GB of internet. Each one is an email, and, (here a small amount of jellybeans - maybe a small bucketful - is tipped over the boy), "that's a movie".

The Calculations: Assuming a reasonably sized room (the room in question looks a bit like a lounge), a measurement of 3m x 3.3m (10 ft x 11 ft) would be reasonable. That would make 10 m² of floor space, and, assuming for the sake of easy calculation that chest high on the youngster is 1m (3 ft 4 in), that would make 10 m³ of jellybeans symbolising 10 GB of internet. While the amount of jellybeans tipped over the youngster is difficult to tell, it looks like a small bucketful; I'll be generous and assume 0.1 m³ (about 3 ft³).

The Dishonesty: This advertisement implies that a movie downloaded off the Internet would be about 100 MB. I did a bit of asking around on IRC the other night, and people who have actually managed to download movies off the Internet have advised me of various sizes of various movies; the smallest was about 600 MB and the largest was over 1.3 GB. Assuming for the sake of this exercise that a typical movie would be 1 GB in size, this means that the Xtra advertisment is false and misleading in implying that with 10 GB of internet, one could download 100 movies; whereas in truth one could only download 10 movies.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: baphnedia
2008-10-26 07:53 am (UTC)
This strikes me less as intentional dishonesty and more as mathematical incompetency.
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2008-10-27 09:45 am (UTC)
Could be; but they've also got a bit of a history of dishonest advertising (not just with the Internet, either; they landed in the cactus recently about advertising business phone solutions and using a company as an example. Problem: someone looked the company up on the Companies Office and the company didn't even exist. The advertising agency just made it up).
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[User Picture]From: dkphoenix
2008-10-26 09:26 am (UTC)
Not that I know anything about this... *cough*

Most movies come in between 700-800 megs, or around the right size to fit on a CD. I've seen poorly compressed Blu-Ray rips that are 7 to 8 gigs. The only thing that could possibly be in the range of 100 megs would be animation, taken from a TiVo or VCR tape, less than 30 minutes long, and compressed/sized for an iPod or cel phone screen. The quality would be not very good, either.

So, yeah. They're prevaricating there. Or, they're talking about low-resolution streaming video in a postage stamp sized window.
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From: axiomatic_axe
2008-10-27 09:27 am (UTC)
Actually, you can get a perfectly watchable 45 minute show into about 115MB. I'm not sure what settings were used, but the end result is 624 x 352 XviD encoded goodness. A movie, on the other hand, would need to be encoded at quite poor quality settings to fit into 100MB.

(Oh, and Dave - sorry about being so unreliable. I'm going to get around to finishing that stuff for you eventually. Probably reasonably soon, now that university is winding down for the year.)
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2008-10-27 10:21 am (UTC)
Is this one of those funny encodings that requires an obscure decoder to actually watch? (I notice that its name is basically DivX backwards...)

No big worries about the timing, probably won't be until next year that I manage to make another Dunedin trip. (Did end up hosting a flying visitor on Saturday night mind you...)
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2008-10-27 10:19 am (UTC)
My guess (after a bit more thought) is that they're mainly as sloppy as hell with their advertising rhetoric and probably also don't realise that people can and will get snarky if their claims don't measure up. It's not as if they haven't already been whacked over the knuckles for their advertising, either...
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[User Picture]From: aeb
2008-10-26 10:05 am (UTC)
Ugh. Either they're deliberately dishonest, or they're terrible at math. {pause}

Both of these traits are ones I like to avoid in an internet provider. {small smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2008-10-27 09:43 am (UTC)
I think they're basically just sloppy and rather clueless about the whole idea of the Internet. They're a phone company (with a monopoly over most of New Zealand) that thought they could make extra money with the internet. But, as far as the internet goes, they've failed at just about everything they've done in the ten or so years they've been active...
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[User Picture]From: aeb
2008-10-28 06:26 am (UTC)
I can believe sloppy and clueless. I fear some companies are like that.{half-smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
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[User Picture]From: kiwipixie
2008-10-28 12:04 am (UTC)
Anyone with a monopoly tends to get a bit complacent. Still, you would think that they would do their research before actually going public - we are not as stupid and ignorant as they would think!
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